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Topics - mdv

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On The Road / Andaz mayakoba refuses free test on points stay
« on: February 10, 2021, 03:52:26 PM »
Reservation manager claims the free test is only for Paid stays and they emailed me this pdf to show proof of policy


However on the official page on hyatt where it says the free testing in Mexico it doesn't say any exclusions for points and neither on the specific Andaz mayakoba page see link below
https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/mexico/andaz-mayakoba-resort-riviera-maya/cunam/news-events

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On The Road / Marriott announces amazing expansion!
« on: February 10, 2021, 03:28:55 PM »
https://thepointsguy.com/news/marriott-adds-all-inclusive-resorts/
This includes the royalton antigua which has gorgeous overwater bungalows with glass floors although that's obviously not the base room so who knows if it will be bookable with points

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Goods For Sale/Trade / Selling Ferragamo Loafers size 9.5
« on: January 11, 2021, 04:15:18 PM »
Selling these shoes for 244$ which is what i paid for it including tax. A friend bought for me from last chance in Chicago but they don't fit me. They are Brand new in perfect condition. In Lakewood but can ship






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https://thepointsguy.com/news/emirates-adding-more-us-flights/
This is great for all those looking to fly on a decent business class product .
Anyone know if they will be using the new A380s with premium econ on this route?

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On The Road / Expertstayer ??!
« on: December 20, 2020, 09:24:50 PM »
We all know expertflyer is a website that alerts you if certain flight fare buckets become available and its a really useful tool to get premium seats at saver rates.

My question is why doesn't something similar exist for hotels?
The only thing I have found is a site called openhotelalerts.com which supposedly alerts you if a specific room type becomes available to book with cash which would then mean you can book it with points ( for example with hilton if the standard room rewards room category in that property becomes available to book with cash then you know its also available on points for standard room rewards). However i found that its not at all consistent or accurate.
I found some guy on flyertalk  (heres the link https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/intercontinental-hotels-ihg-rewards-club-intercontinental-ambassador/1161417-ic-thalasso-bora-bora-master-thread-merged-247.html ) on the IC thallasso thread who made his own script to search every 10 minutes and he managed to piece together a stay that way
Is there any legitimate website out there that can do this?
I have been trying to find someone who knows programming to write something similar to the flyertalk script but haven't found anyone yet
It can be as simple as that one which is basically a bot that does what you would do when using the hotels search engine or it can be something which uses the internal system (API) to do the saerch which would obviously be much more complicated but can technically be a real tool used by anyone like expertflyer but even the first option can be useful to many people if it can be customized.
Thoughts?

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Up In The Air / Transfer chase ur to LATAM thru hyatt
« on: December 16, 2020, 04:05:34 PM »
https://frequentmiler.com/chases-secret-transfer-partners/
Must be at least 50k  to get 1:1 ratio
Seems like it's possible to get good value on latam metal
One example JFK to LIM in business class for 31k
Any sweets spots for partners/alliance partners?

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On The Road / 10k hilton for taking survey
« on: December 14, 2020, 11:05:57 AM »
https://www.guestopinionrewards.com/signup
In my experience I answered a few questions, system said I am not eligible for for the survey , got an email saying i have earned the 10k , received the points a week later

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Goods For Sale/Trade / Polar bear suitcase for sale
« on: July 16, 2020, 05:21:45 PM »
selling a polar bear suitcase - black 24 pack. Used once (for one trip ) . $105 . Here's the link the the item on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001PCKAC0/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_jsmeFbJ2XZYJK

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Trip Reports / Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« on: July 14, 2020, 11:48:36 AM »
This is my first trip report so I hope I do this right!
 I am the kind of guy who's always planning trips but rarely actually gets to go on one so when the opportunity came up I jumped on it . For a destination we wanted to stay within USA just for simplicity due to all the covid restrictions in other countries ....our first idea was just boring miami but we quickly ditched that due to weather and covid spiking... next idea was arizona but also too hot so we settled on Colorado for the perfect no humidity weather in the mountains during the summer.

Ever since getting married I've become a stickler for nice hotels (before that i just looked at it like a waste of money/ points) so my planning was partly (alright- mostly) based on where I can find a really nice hotel on points and the winner was the St Regis Aspen which was at the time pricing at 70k Marriott per night for the entire duration of the stay (which usually is quite hard to find) due to covid .The hotel is actually quite an old building but was renovated about 10 years ago and its very luxurious even for today's standards albeit with more of a rustic mountain feel (more on that later) . In regards to the location obviously everyone recognizes the name from the tissue boxes so I knew I wouldn't be let down.

 I spoke to a well travelled friend who told me the nicest thing to see in the Colorado Rockies is Maroon Bells which is right next to Aspen so that sealed it ! The other thing my friend told me about was Mt Evans which is a drive thats supposed to be very cool (highest road in USA) but that's closer to denver and too far from Aspen to be a day trip.
 So I was thinking to do one less night in Aspen and 1 night closer to denver so we can do that drive ( and also by only doing 3 nights I wouldn't feel so bad not taking advantage of fifth night free....staying 5 nights would have meant having to stay for shabbos in denver and that just didn't work for me)
However by the time I decided to do that the off peak promo was over and if you want to shorten a stay with marriott its based off the current rates (which had gone back up to 85k) so essentially you are just canceling the stay and rebooking it for 1 less night for the current rate - they can't just knock off the last night and keep the rate you booked (which seems quite foolish). I tried huca and supervisors to no avail. They said the only other option is to get the hotel to make the change but when I spoke to the property they said they can't change a points reservation all I can do is check out a day early and I would get the points back but then would be charged $4000 (!) for "making a change within 24 hours" and no they can't make any exceptions as it's a rigid rule. Obviously I asked for a manager and was told he was in a meeting so I should leave a voicemail. So as a last ditch effort I left a message explaining the situation and saying that I'm coming with my 5 month old baby this is his first trip blah blah blah not expecting to get a call back.
To my surprise i got a call a bit later from Carlos who introduced himself as the reservation manager for the St Regis and the W (the W aspen is an insanely cool and modern property but the rooms are a bit quirky - some rooms have weird bunkbed style beds and some have no views at all i.e. no windows and it has a rooftop pool open to the public and seems to have more of a party vibe - more on the w later -the st regis just seemed more classy and luxurious) and he goes I have a 2 month old myself and i can definitely help you change your stay no problem no fees! I actually ended up staying all 4 nights but Carlos ended up helping me alot with something else I'll elaborate later.

For flights we had the option of united from newark or Philadelphia or southwest from Philadelphia and I ended up going with southwest because I had some Sw points left from getting 2 cards last year and some very cheap rates , flexible changes (@Dan southwest systemwide free changes) , 2 free bags and guaranteed middle seat free so i can bring my baby's car seat on the plane - although the flight times weren't the greatest.

And for a rental car I had a whole bunch of points leftover from my single years of renting and from buying some a few years thru daily getaways (thanx to @Dan )and coupled with presdents circle (got from the LH Senator code a few years back and kept up thru status match thru national) I was hoping for something nice ( although I had never previously gotten anything better than a challenger with PC) .
Being that we were landing 9am and taking off 430pm I would've had to pay for a whole extra day for those extra few hours but I decided to take my chances and use the amex platinum cdp which allows you to set up your reservation online to return 4 hours later than pickup , hoping that they wouldn't ask me to prove my card membership
(I actualy have a business platinum card that I canceled a while ago but the expiry date on the card is still on the future and i happened to have kept the physical card for situations like these).
So I managed to get a rate for 4 days ( 3000 points) for a 10am pickup and 2pm drop off plus a quoted $100 and some change for taxes and fees (for some odd reason they ended up charging only 19 dollars but I ain't complaining)
 
So here's some numbers :
Breakdown of costs
Flights (for myself and my wife) :
PHL to DEN Sunday 7am
10746 WN + $11.20
DEN to PHL Thursday 435pm
14646 WN + $11.20
Car :
10am pickup 2pm dropoff .paid for 4 days and got 4 hours extra with amex plat code
3000 Hertz points + $19.10
Hotel :
St Regis Aspen Resort
280k Marriott points ( 4 nights @70k per night off peak rate due to covid promo)(yes it killed me to not take the fifth night free )

For food we needed to bring with us because the closest kosher food is in denver 3 hours away so we did a combination of premade food from yapchik which they vacuum packed for us, some premade homemade food frozen in pans and some raw steaks , all individually wrapped in silver foil, labeled (I made a corresponding list on my phone to keep track of everything) and then as per my rov I taped each one in a specific way to be able to tell if it was tampered with. Next I froze everything and put it in a Polar Bear suitcase (thanks @Dan for the tip worked perfectly) and then the rest of the stuff - milk , cheese frozen pizza etc we made an order from East side kosher deli which we would pick up after landing in denver. To prepare the food we brought a sous vide (to warm the vacuum packed yapchik food and cook the steaks )and a plastic bin for the water, a mini blowtorch to sear the steaks and a toaster oven to warm up the things in pans and for frozen pizza. Honestly a toaster oven is quite a schlep and we only brought it because we had so much free baggage but next time I would probably just try to get one at my destination and leave it there when I'm done
So that's pretty much all the planning ... next up is the actual trip and some pics
..... to be continued.....

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selling echo frames for 300$ (this product is only available for purchase if you are" invited" by Amazon)

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Goods For Sale/Trade / Subsidizing paid Marriott stays
« on: March 08, 2020, 04:47:01 PM »
Hey ! I am offering to subsidize any PAID  stays using my Marriott account  between march 17th and April 30th. Please pm for more info

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